Would a simple pen/run suffice in central FL?

Pet Duck Boy

10 Years
Dec 12, 2009
Orlando, FL
I've had some recent replies about building a run and covering it with a tarp. Now that sounds really easy and affordable, which is what I want. Because I live in FL, where average summer temps are 80-100....a large run, say 12x5x6, would be fine for 6-8 chickens....correct? I was thinking about buying some strudy wood and hamering then into a rectangle frame...cover with chicken wire, then cover it with a tarp. And maybe add a door? I could build a simple next box out of my old cabinets that I have. Ventilation would be bigger here than insulation. Biggest predators here in my part of town would be raccoons. I was thinking that maybe I could just use some strong wire as the flooring to keep digging predators out? Would that hurt the chicken's feet? I plan to mainly let them out during good days so they can forage around my yard. What do you guys think?

A.T. Hagan

Don't Panic
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
North/Central Florida
The Florida sun is not kind to anything made of plastic so plan on replacing your tarp about twice a year. Maybe more often if you don't have secured tight.

I would not use chicken wire (poultry netting) for anything. Coons can and will go through it. For a roost house where the birds will sleep at night I'd use at least harware cloth and be sure to put a door you can latch on so the coons can't get in. For the run I'd use 2x4 welded wire or chain link.

I wouldn't put a wire floor inside of the pen, but would run the wire flat on the ground around the outside of it like you were laying a piece of carpet. About twelve to eighteen inches wide is fine. Rake the ground clean all the way around, lay the wire down flat and use the little metal pins that are used for securing landscape fabric to hold it flat down against the ground. Eventually the grass will grow through it to hold it in place. Animals always go to the bottom of the fence to dig. When they do they'll be standing on the wire. You can usually find the plastic coated welded wire in twelve to twenty four inch widths at the garden centers. It'll last a long time.

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9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
Naples, Florida
Dog kennels or runs would work well here in Florida. I would recommend covering it in some 1/2" hardwire cloth though. Also, you can dig around it and put some of the hardwire cloth under the ground to prevent digging predators.
A lot of people use them here. I would also recommend looking on Craig's list for used ones. You can pick them up cheaper on there, and then use the money you saved to buy the hardware cloth.

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